Peer group education through social media: turning the tide of the MSM HIV epidemic?

The link between social networking technology and risk-taking sexual behaviour appears to be a complex one.  On the one hand, there is a strong likelihood that social networking increases MSM at risk by involving them in sexual networks.  For example, according to the European MSM Internet Survey, 58% of MSM reporting a non-steady partner over […]

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US HIV screening guidance shifts to a population-based approach

The updating of important US guidelines on HIV testing by the US Planning Services Task Force (USPSTF) (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1682314) confirms a shift from a risk-based to a population-based approach to HIV testing.   The USPSTF guidelines are now in line with the most recent (2006) guidelines of the Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC)  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5514a1.htm).  The option for risk-based […]

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Home-based HIV testing: an acceptable intervention for sub-Saharan Africans?

HIV testing is the gateway to accessing care – but can involve issues of stigma.  So improving accessibility to testing – by, amongst other things, overcoming the associated stigma – is a major concern for developed and underdeveloped countries alike, and has led to initiatives for testing in “non-traditional settings” (e.g. the UK based HINTS […]

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HIV testing gives rise to behaviour change

What sort of impact does HIV testing (Voluntary Testing and Counselling: VCT) have on an individual’s subsequent sexual behaviour? A number of studies of VCT clients in sub-Saharan Africa, and published in STI journal, suggest a significant preventative effect.  A two-year cohort study of 401 clients of Kenyan government health centres (Arthur & Gilks, 2007) […]

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Non-targeted HIV testing in health settings – worthwhile?

A large, recently published French study, based in metropolitan Paris, places a question mark over the value of non-targeted HIV screening as a strategy to lower the number of undiagnosed infections and improve early detection. Late diagnosis of HIV remains a common problem both in France – where, despite accessible testing, one-third of diagnoses are […]

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What fluidics engineering can do to prevent vertical HIV/syphilis transmission in low resource settings

The economic case for investment in the prevention of vertical (mother to child) transmission of HIV and syphilis is easily made – even in low resource settings.  Yet the virtual elimination of maternal HIV transmission remains a goal still to be achieved in many regions, while syphilis in pregnant mothers is often unaddressed with tragic […]

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UK services need to be more proactive about HIV testing!

At the same time as the release of depressing figures by the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) showing a doubling of the annual rate of fresh HIV diagnoses in the UK, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has just issued two sets of recommendations on HIV prevention. Annual figures for new diagnoses […]

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Specialists produce evidence to show HIV testing in UK hospitals is a ‘lottery’

By Harriet Smith at Munro and Forster, on behalf of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV ( BASHH): Three new research studies unveiled at the Second Joint Conference of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and the British HIV Association (BHIVA), in Manchester today, revealed that people with HIV infection […]

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Time to improve HIV testing and recording of HIV diagnosis in UK primary care – a response

Please see letter below from Surinder Singh in response to the article Richard Ma Time to improve HIV testing and recording of HIV diagnosis in UK primary care Sex Transm Infect 2009; 85: 486 http://sti.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/85/7/486 Richard Ma makes some excellent points in his editorial (1). I would like to ‘correct’ a misperception but add to […]

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